Before Arik Armstead reached a five-year extension, Mike Silver reported that the San Francisco 49ers made a run at former Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper, who reached a deal with the Cleveland Browns to make him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. That is until George Kittle signs a new contract. Hooper’s contract with Cleveland is four-years and $44 million. If that’s the case, how could San Francisco fit Hooper under the salary cap?
Hooper was a third-round pick in 2016 for the Falcons when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 2016. The 49ers likely sniffed around, but the price was too high for their liking. It’s no secret that the 49ers are looking tight ends to take the load of Kittle. Some have said, “what about Ross Dwelley.” He’s fine, but he shouldn’t stop you from wanting to upgrade at the position.
With Hooper going to Cleveland, why not ask the Browns what it’ll take to get David Njoku off their hands? If they want too much, then hang up. Shanahan could be looking to mold his offense like the Patriots of a decade ago when they rolled out in 12 personnel and couldn’t be stopped.